CCNF ceased operations in February 2016, and this website is no longer active. Thank you to all the contributors that made the Forum a success. We had a good run! -MAQ

About the Organization

Members and future columnists


The mission of CCNF is to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications. CCNF plans to accomplish this by establishing and administering an ongoing public forum wherein:

  • scientists can discuss the latest research on climate change, share and debate ideas on aspects of climate change especially relevant to policy making, and fact check outside claims being made in the media; and
  • subject matter experts and policy makers can compare and debate the benefits and costs of possible responses.

Type of Organization

CCNF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity confirmed by the IRS.


Click on image to view PDF.

Click on image to view PDF

CCNF was founded in 2012 by Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Dr. Barry Lefer, Prof. Tracy Hester, and Michael Quirke. Drs. Nielsen-Gammon and Lefer and Prof. Hester make up the founding board and comprised the start of the future blogging community, which has grown to include other nationally renowned scientists and experts. Michael Quirke, the creator of the platform, is serving as the executive director. For more information on the board and staff, click here.


Columnists that contribute content at least once a month on average become voting members in the nonprofit and elect the board in annual elections. The board, in turn, acts as the gatekeeper, admitting only those columnists that can meet CCNFR’s columnist criteria. (If an applicant meets the criteria, the board shall admit the applicant as a member of CCNF and columnist on the platform. This mandatory provision is inscribed in the CCNFR bylaws). The board also hires the journalism and administrative staff.

Donations, grant(s) make this happen


Recruiting scientists for phases I and II

Calling all climate and physical scientists and subject matter and policy experts! Join Climate Change National Forum!CCNF is currently calling on climate and physical scientists to join CCNF and contribute essays as well as participate in some of the discussion and debate in the columnist-only comment threads. We are focusing on soliciting scientist-members of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, and American Institute of Physics in order to amass a community of science columnists that is representative of the greater climate and physical sciences publishing community. 

Click on image to see recent press on CCNF by the AGU and AMS.

Recent press by the AGU and AMS

To contribute as a science columnist, one must meet the columnist criteria in the CCNF bylaws. This includes having an adequate level of expertise in some area of climate science. That being said, the CCNF board is liberally construing the term “climate science” to include any scientific area that includes climate impacts. Thus, an ecologist, entomologist, or evolutionary biologist would be as welcome to join CCNF science columnist community as a physicist, meteorologist, or atmospheric chemist. Indeed, as Dr. Nielsen-Gammon wrote in his Letter to Fellow Physical Scientists, “we need at least some people who know relatively little about the state of the art of climate science, for their intellectual journey while participating in the CCNFR will be similar to the journeys we hope dedicated lay readers will take.”

Recruiting subject matter and policy experts for phase II

Although CCNF is focusing on the recruitment of scientists for phase I, we are also growing our future blogging community of subject matter and policy experts. This group of bloggers will be able to participate in phase II, when the Forum opens up to discussion and debate on the policy implications of climate change. CCNF expects phase II to begin six months to a year after the Forum goes live. It depends on the number of science columnists that participate, their level of participation, and the amount of funding that CCNF receives.

Donations, grant(s) make this happen

CCNF is seeking corporate sponsors and grants in order to:

  • Hire an executive director and communications director to manage the site, assist and integrate the columnists, run a robust marketing/SEO/AdWords campaign, and build CCNF’s national profile. It will be incumbent on these two staff members to quickly grow a national audience and ensure that the scientists’ and journalist’s content is accessible to – and reaches – all facets of the American public.
  • PressHat_smallHire a journalist to run the fact checker section, moderate as needed, publish interviews and original pieces, tweet and post regularly in social media, and provide ongoing reports that break down the Forum’s complex content so that it is accessible to the general public.
  • Have the ability to compensate those science columnists that are taking a leadership role in the initiative and contributing posts regularly. Compensating a core group will ensure a regular stream of contributions from climate scientists at the forefront of the published literature on climate change.